There’s a lot to detox from right now. As we welcome in 2021 and bid a (not so fond) farewell to 2020, many of us are looking for ways to improve ourselves in the new year. At the same time, we have to be realistic about our limitations. And this year, there’s a new fleet of limitations over which we have no control.
The Covid-19 pandemic has rendered much of our normal daily life a husk of its normal appearance. Most of us are working from home; our kids are home, not at school; we can’t go to our gyms or exercise facilities; we can’t burn off some steam socializing at restaurants or bars; we can’t even go to a movie theater and take in a flick. We can take walks and jog outdoors but in the winter, that’s not always an option either.
Much of this is likely to continue well into 2021. So what’s the plan for improving ourselves despite these limitations? Here are a few ideas for those of you who are motivated to be healthier and stronger no matter what challenges stand before you…
Strengthen your immune system
If ever there was a year to acknowledge one of the unsung heroes of our physical health, it’s 2020. This is the year a pandemic tore through the country, killing hundreds of thousands of people, many of them with already weakened or compromised immune systems.
Sometimes you don’t have control over your immune system. There are diseases, some of them congenital, and conditions that weaken your heart and internal biological processes, making it harder for your body to fight off viruses and illness.
However, there are things you can do to help your immune system fight back. Generally speaking, you probably already know that you need to get an adequate amount of sleep every night. And you need regular exercise and good nutrition.
Did you also know that probiotics can help your body’s digestive system promote good health? Probiotic drinks have surged in popularity recently and the newer formulations can contain up to 50 billion fermented probiotic bacteria (the good bacteria) that aid the microflora in your gut. In case you didn’t know, your digestive microflora is what protects you from the bad bacteria that causes infections.
Kombucha is probably the most popular example of a probiotic drink on the market but there are many others, some of them specially formulated for children.
Sweat your toxins out
You’ve probably heard of hot yoga before and likely rolled your eyes. Admittedly, some of the more extreme classes that push the temperature to a humid 100 degrees sound almost unbearable. But there is a method to this madness. Studies show that hot, humid environments are ideal for yoga because they allow the muscles and hamstrings to relax, improving flexibility.
Hot yoga burns significantly more calories than a traditional yoga workout and some hot yoga classes burn more calories than jogging or swimming. Additionally, hot yoga builds bone density, which is especially important for seniors.
Perhaps the most obvious benefits of hot yoga are in the mind. Hot yoga is a well-known way to reduce stress and depression. Other benefits include: cardiovascular and circulatory health, reduction of blood glucose levels, and nourishment of skin cells.
Combined, all of these benefits bolster your immune system and make you more likely to be able to fight off a virus or infection.
Many people who swear by hot yoga practice it at a studio and that has been a major problem in 2020, as most yoga studios can’t hold indoor classes due to pandemic restrictions.
However, there is a DIY way around this. Get yourself a couple of portable heaters and an air humidifier (you can get one from Target for like 30 bucks). While this won’t get your room to the steamy levels of a hot yoga studio, it will be enough to clock a good, sweaty workout. If there’s room for a yoga mat in your bathroom, another option is to take the heater in there and run the hot water for a few minutes to get a nice steam bath going.